HELP! My dog has been stolen…
We hope you never have to say that.
You may or may not be aware that there has been some reports of dog-nappings (& other attempts) in Faribault and the surrounding area for a couple of weeks now. The ugly trade of pet theft is a serious problem. It is an organized, high dollar business that lurks in shadows and goes unnoticed until it strikes your community, your home, your pet. Protecting your dog takes due diligence.
Why are pets stolen? Besides being sold to research labs (which isn’t as common anymore) or pet stores, they are used in bait and for dog fighting rings, in puppy mills to breeders, for fur, as breeding partners for dogs, and by sadistic individuals.
Pet theft prevention tips:
1. Pets should WEAR TAGS at all times. Rabies and/or license/registration tags are required by law in most towns.
2. TATTOO and/or MICROCHIP all pets for positive identification (it’s best to do both). Tattoo your purebred pet’s registration number (be sure to include registry initials: AKC, UKC, CFA, etc.) or a specific number you register with your veterinarian inside the thigh or on the belly (ears can be torn due to injury, or cut off).
3. REGISTER all tattoos or microchips with the appropriate registry. An unregistered tattoo or microchip is useless. The person who tattoos your pet or injects the microchip should give you information on how to register it.
4. CONFINE your pets. The safest place for them when you’re not home is INDOORS. This includes cats, too!
5. PADLOCK GATES. If you must leave your dog outside in a fenced yard, at least make it difficult for others to get to him. The fence needs to be at least 6 feet high and padlocked.
6. Fit an alarm/bell to your gate so that you can hear visitors/trespassers enter your property.
7. Dogs that are kept tied in unfenced yards should be located OUT OF VIEW of passersby.
8. NEVER let your dog off his chain or leash (if you live in town) – even for a minute – if you won’t be right there to watch him the whole time! In most places it’s illegal (in town), and it’s an open invitation for trouble!
9. Train your dog not to go out of your sight on walks.
10. Don’t leave your dog tied in public places while you go in stores to shop!
11. If you have a doggy door. Lock it when you are not home! Let the dog do its business before you leave, let him in, lock door.
12. SPAY or NEUTER all pets. This makes them less inclined to wander, and eliminates any resale value for breeding purposes.
13. If a stranger approaches you about buying or breeding to your pet, tell him the pet has been spayed or neutered, even if it hasn’t. WRITE DOWN the person’s name, address, and license plate number, and keep a close eye on your pet afterwards!
14. DO NOT put your pet’s name on his ID tag or display it on his dog house. A pet is much more likely to go to (and with) a stranger who calls him by name.
15. DO NOT talk to strangers about the value, bloodlines, training or special abilities of your pet.
16. On the Road: Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked – Besides the obvious health risks this poses to the dog, it’s also an invitation for thieves. You wouldn’t leave your purse or wallet laying in plain view in your car.
17. Take pictures with your dog. (You and other family members) This makes it easier to prove that dog is yours.
18. DON’T BUY STOLEN PETS. Don’t buy dogs from the internet, flea markets, or roadside vans There is simply no way to verify where an animal purchased from any of these outlets came from. Web sites and online classifieds are easily falsified, and with roadside or flea market purchases not only do you not know the pet’s origins but you will never be able to find or identify the seller in case of a problem. Even newspaper ads may be suspect. Adult dogs offered for sale at reduced prices, for a “relocation” fee, or accompanied by requests for last minute shipping fees are red flags. Dog owners who truly love their animals and are unable to keep them will opt to find a loving home without compensation for re-homing the animal. Seek out rescue groups or reputable breeders. A few great rescues in our area are: http://www.rescue55021.com, http://www.furballfarmpetsanctuary.com , http://www.prairiesedgehs.org .
Visit the home of the breeder, meet the puppy’s mother, and see the litter of puppies. Developing a good relationship with the breeder will bring you peace of mind when purchasing. Contacting breed rescue groups can also be a safe alternative if you are looking for an adult dog. But either way ALWAYS Demand proper papers on your purebred puppy. Ask for the AKC Litter Registration Number and contact AKC customer service at 919-233-9767 to verify registration authenticity of your purebred puppy.
What to do in an emergency if your pet is stolen?
If you believe your pet has been stolen please call the local police department:
Faribault Police: Dispatch (non-emergency): 507-334-4305
Lonsdale Police: Dispatch (non-emergency) : 507-334-4391, Office: 507-744-2300
Montgomery: Dispatch (non-emergency) : 507-364-7700, Office: 507-364-8000, 507-364-8070
Morristown Police: 507-685-4190
Northfield Police: 507-645-4475
Owatonna Police: Dispatch (non-emergency) : 507-451-8232, Office: 507-444-3800
Rice County Sheriff: 507-332-6010
LeSueur County Sheriff: 507-357-4440
Steele County Sheriff: 507-444-3800
Then call your local impound to see if your pet has been brought there and to ask them to let you know if they show up there.
Faribault: Muddy Paws Resort 507-332-8110
Northfield: Country Side Vet Clinic 507-645-4522
Owatonna Impound: Police Dept. 507-444-3800
We also recommend calling the local veterinarian offices to ask if there was any found reports and to leave word that you are missing your dog.
Remember social media is also a great way to get the word out about your missing dog. Post pics on local pages. (garage sale pages, local happening pages, etc.)
Please let us know via Facebook that you are missing your dog and we will post it on our page.
*Excerpts taken from Fido Friendly magazine